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Neno’s child rights defenders ask for more funding amid covid-19 outbreak in Malawi

Macpherson Chidakwa: Casdo executive director

BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)—Action for Sustainable Development (Casdo), a Non-Governmental Organisation based in Neno, has asked the authorities at the district council to consider child rights issues when allocating funds in the face of covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking during a meeting yesterday with stakeholders, Casdo Executive Director, Macpherson Chidakwa, said there was need for the council to allocate more funds towards child rights protection following the closure of schools due to the novel coronavirus.

“With children out of school, they are both victims and witnesses of domestic violence and abuse, hence the need for special protection,” said Chidakwa.

“There is also a danger that girls will drop out of school, leading to an increase in teenage pregnancies. And we must not ignore the growing risks children are facing,” he added.

Responding, Neno District Council Director of Planning and Development, Patrick Manyowa, said the council is ready to engage the Neno Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in coming up with interventions that promote child rights.

While children seem to be less vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus itself, the collateral impact on children is considerable.

Recently, the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres also called upon countries to prioritize children’s safety as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across the globe.

“I am especially concerned about the well-being of the world’s children. Thankfully, children have so far been largely spared from the most severe symptoms of the disease. But their lives are being totally upended. I appeal to families everywhere, and leaders at all levels: Protect our children,” said Guterres.

On March 11, World Health Organisation announced that Covid-19 was a pandemic.

President Peter Mutharika on March 20 2020 declared the State of Disaster and set up a K15 billion fund to deal with the crisis. He also banned public gatherings and ordered closure of schools as part of drastic measures to cut densification.

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